Dawgs earn weekend sweep of Marksmen with 4-3 home win

ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (31-15-8) just plain outworked the Fayetteville Marksmen (29-19-6) on Saturday night, taking a 4-3 victory in a weekend series sweep at Berglund Center. Matteo DiGiulio had two goals, Dom Marcinkevics and Matt O’Dea each added goals, and Tommy Munichiello had three assists for Roanoke. The Dawgs secured a third-place finish in the regular season with the win, the best standings finish in franchise history.

The Dawgs roared out of the gates from the get-go, as immense pressure by DiGiulio, Munichiello, and Mac Jansen turned a forecheck into an easy tap-in for DiGiulio just 41 seconds in. Marcinkevics doubled the advantage at 5:01, when he took a pass from Aidan Girduckis into the Fayetteville zone and unleashed a long-range shot to make it 2-0 for Roanoke. The Dawgs recorded the game’s first eight shots on goal in the first eight minutes of action, and held that two-goal lead into the first intermission.

The second period featured another great play by the same line that started the night off for the Dawgs. Munichiello and DiGiulio forced a turnover, DiGiulio elected to create a 2-on-1 chance instead of taking a partial breakaway chance, and his give-and-go with John Macdonald gave him an easy second goal just 40 seconds into the frame to make it 3-0. Fayetteville would get on the board at 5:32 on a goal by Adam Pitters, and a right-wing bullet from Simon Boyko on the power play at 10:55 would make it a 3-2 game. Fayetteville would outshoot Roanoke 13-8 in the period, and it was just a one-goal game after 40 minutes.

Roanoke locked things down defensively down the stretch and started mounting pressure back on the Marksmen. Munichiello and O’Dea won a board battle behind the Fayetteville net, and a low-to-high pass up to Stephen Alvo set up his blue-line shot that was redirected by O’Dea to make it a 4-2 game at 9:11. The Marksmen would empty their net for the extra attacker with about four and a half minutes left, and a wicked deflection off of a Roanoke stick on a centering feed by Boyko would award him a credited goal at 16:13. The Dawgs would see things out to seal another victory, clinching a third-place finish and their first-ever 70-point season.

Austyn Roudebush stopped 34-of-37 shots in net for Roanoke, while Eric Dop saved 24-of-28 shots faced in net for Fayetteville. Roanoke went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Fayetteville went 1-for-3 on their respective power play chances.

Saturday was also a special night on the ice with the Virginia Tech wrestling team in attendance with the Kip Nininger Scholarship Fund. For more on that story, click here.